Friday, December 26, 2008
~Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Do you see what I see?
Way up in the sky, little lamb?
Do you see what I see?
A star, a star, dancing in the night,
With a tail as big as a kite,
With a tail as big as a kite.
Said the little lamb to the shepherd boy,
Do you hear what I hear?
Ringing through the sky shepherd boy,
Do you hear what I hear?
A song, a song, high above the tree,
With a voice as big as the sea,
With a voice as big as the sea.
Said the shepherd boy to the mighty king,
Do you know what I know?
A child, a child, shivers in the cold,
Let us bring him silver and gold,
Let us bring him silver and gold.
Said the king to the people everywhere,
Listen to what I say,
Pray for peace people everywhere,
Listen to what I say.
The child, the child, sleeping in the night,
He will bring us goodness and light.
The child, the child, sleeping in the night,
He will bring us goodness and light.
I hope this Christmas season during all the hustle and bustle that you take a second and know what I know -that God is good, and that we are all blessed.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
who barely knew each other.
One you don't know yet,
the other you call Mother.
Two different lives shaped to make yours one
One became your guiding star,
The other became your sun.
The first gave you life,
and the second taught you to live in it.
The first gave you a need for love,
And the second was there to give it.
One gave you emotions,
The other calmed your fears.
One saw your first sweet smile,
The other dried your tears.
One gave you up - it was all that she could do.
The other prayed for a child,
And God led her straight to you.
So, you ask me one day, heredity or environment
what are you the product of?
Neither, my darling, neither.
Just two different kinds of love.
Thursday, December 04, 2008
It's a penguin. A cute little penguin, with an adorable round little belly, red shiny shoes and a red and white scarf. It's made out of a very fragile material -like glass, but much, much more fragile. It glitters and sparkles. Its cute little head is covered with some sort of gold-colored winter hat that is what I think of as a babushka. It's my little Russian penguin. Every year I hang it on the tree, and think of someone who might one day come from Russia... but now may come from somewhere much, much closer. Tonight as I hung my little penguin center stage of my tree, he sparkled more than ever. He sparkled with hope, sweet hope, the thing with feathers that we all know perches in the soul... and sings the tune without the words... and never stops... at all.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you; I will say to the north, Give up, and to the south, Do not withhold; bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth.
Admittedly, we are not going to have to go quite as far east as I had originally planned, (Russia/Eastern Europe) but we are going east...
For this child I prayed; and the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of him.
1 Samuel 1:27
My heart is full with hope.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
If you would like to donate, you can visit Michele's page here:
and my page here:
To those of you who have already donated....thank you...
I'm walking in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk this Saturday. My boss started a "little" team for the walk and named us the Fighting Striders of Smyrna. She sent out a few e-mails and set our goal at $5,000.00. A few weeks later, our team is 65 walkers and growing, and we have raised nearly $19,000.00. Three people at work shaved their heads slick (and two of them are women!) and I dyed my hair pink in honor of the cause. It has pretty much faded now, to a nice fall shade of red, but I will post some pictures of it that were taken the day after I did it.
I'm so proud of us! We are the number two team for fundraising in Middle Tennessee - right behind O'Charley's. And they have like 130 stores in 15 states or something. (I did used to work there, so that might not be right, but it's probably not too far off.) We're just a little group of Smyrna-nites who said to O'Charley's, and to cancer.....FEEL THE PUNCH!!
Saturday, October 04, 2008
It happened with the Floating Men in a big way. Kevin and I had not been dating too long. Our relationship was new enough that I was happily spending my day off riding around with him while he paid bills and ran errands. I remember we were at the Handy Mart on Northfield in Murfreesboro. He was going inside to buy us something to drink, and just before he got out of the truck he put in a CD and said, "See if you like this." It was the Floating Men, and I did. I went out the next day and bought every single CD they had, and a CD player for my car. The next day! It was that good. And 10 years later, I still love 'em.
It's happened again - just today. I've heard of Kings of Leon, but I've never really listened to them. Today while I was cleaning, I kept hearing some commercial on TV over and over again for their new CD. I could tell just from the little snippets they played that I would like it. So I just downloaded the whole CD - and I love it.
I love it when that happens. It's the little things, right?
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
The particular surprise around the corner to which I am referring, however, could be a good thing.
It's just too early to tell.
So I won't say anything else, other than ...hmmmm.....you just never know what's going to fall from the sky.
And no, it's probably not what you're thinking.
Matter of fact, I would give you 500 guesses, and feel pretty safe you wouldn't get it.
That's all for now.
Cross your fingers.
Enjoy Somewhere Over the Rainbow - look over to the left and up a little.
Let yourself dream a little.
You just never know what might happen.
Monday, September 29, 2008
I don't have anything especially profound or insightful to say about any of this. Just that it sucks to see people hurting. It sucks to feel helpless and scared. It sucks that there's not a cure. It sucks that sometimes it seems like cancer is everywhere.
It really puts things into perspective, and reminds me that life is short, our times together are precious, and you just never know what's around the corner.
Friday, September 19, 2008
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
I don't think I ever posted any photos from our trip to Vegas earlier in the year. Here are some random favorites. This is where we stayed.
I just like this.
Yes, there is glass between us.
2. I don't really care for Orville Reddenbocker Natural Buttery Garlic popcorn.
3. I'm really not sure how to spell Orville Reddenbocker.
(I did not claim that the things I learn everyday will be important, or serious. And surely, you didn't expect them to be, did you?)
And then there is the one devoted to the misuse of quotation marks. Love it, love it, love it.
I tried having focus once, remember? I was going to share 30 secrets in 30 days. Uh, yeah... that didn't work.
New plan: Every day (that I post) I will post one thing that I learned that day. They say you learn something everyday, right? We'll see......
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Thanks, Sports Com! What a great way to end the pool season - a "puppy plunge" where only dogs are allowed in the pool. We had a great time. Bailey is truly a city dog now, I guess. Here she is relaxing in the kiddie pool by the fountain.
We were one of the first ones to arrive. Some of the dogs took a while to warm up to the water, but not Bailey. Here she is overlooking her kingdom. I think she was thinking, "This would fit in our back yard!"
Lounging poolside, that's my dog.
Thursday, September 04, 2008
We spent Labor Day weekend in Chicago. This was taken at the Navy Pier. It reminds me of some Floating Men lyrics. I'm sure you're surprised...
If I could do it over
I'd own a souvenir stand
On some dust covered highway
On some boarded up strand
Where the ghost of a thrill ride
Looms, creaks, and commands
Lost armies of seagulls
On a kingdom of sand
Monday, August 25, 2008
~Vincent Van Gogh
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
I was watching the Olympics Sunday night - one of the women's races. It made me remember how awesome it feels to sprint. I hate running long distance. I have tried to like it. I like it in theory just fine, but it's like cranberry sauce was to me as a kid. It looks attractive. Other people seem to like it. But it doesn't work for me. Oh sure, I go through these spells where I'm going to "be a runner." I'm going to "take up running. " I'm going to "train for a 5k." We all know that just won't last, though, don't we, because deep down I don't like running. But sprinting, now that is a different story all together. Sprinting I do like. And watching the Olympics made me remember that, and remember what a fool I made of myself 4 years ago due to being inspired by the Olympics:
Four years ago I was watching some Olympic race, and I remembered, just like I did this past Sunday night, how awesome it feels to sprint. To really stretch completely out. To give all you've got. To feel like a machine. So I decided, at around 10:30 p.m., that I would go sprint down the sidewalk. My thinking: Kevin was asleep and couldn't stop me, and it was dark so the neighbors couldn't see me. It probably wasn't the best idea given that I wasn't exactly in sprinting shape, and again, it was dark, but I was inspired, and hey, when inspiration strikes....
I laced up my shoes. Crept out the front door. I even did a few stretches. (Normally I don't stretch. Never have unless someone forces me to. I can hear you now, gasping and tsk-tsking at my lack of stretching, but it has worked for the past 30+ years. Plus Kevin tells me every day about the perils of my no-stretching lifestyle. He tells me enough for all of you, believe me!) I walked out to the sidewalk. Took some deep breaths. And I was off! Sure, I was a little rusty and hesitant at first. And sure, I was scared I would fall on a crack in the sidewalk. But man, did it feel good. Stretching out. Reaching with the arms. Working the legs. I was feeling pretty good. I stopped and turned around to sprint back. Just as I started back, a dog suddenly appeared, barking his head off and chasing me like I was an intruder. I thought he was going to eat me! Then I realized it was just Jimbo, the neighbor's schnauzer. Apparently my sudden burst of speed looked out of the ordinary to him, and so he had gone after me in total attack mode. His owner came running over to get him, obviously embarrassed because he was in his boxers. I was obviously embarrassed because I was, well, sprinting in the dark and looking insane. I mumbled something about inspiration and the Olympics and slunk back inside.
This year when inspiration struck, Kevin was up and stopped me from repeating the late night sprint. I'm just glad I'm not inspired to try gymnastics.
Saturday, August 09, 2008
Friday, August 01, 2008
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
1. On Memorial day my mother-in-law told me she was going to buy a watermelon because it just wouldn't be Memorial day without one. She said she had eaten watermelon every Memorial day for like the last 50 years so, why stop now? Inspired by this consistency, and determined to establish a tradition of my own, I bought a big watermelon slice (like a quarter of a watermelon) on the 4th of July. Unfortunately we did not eat the watermelon until July 17th. It was a little overripe. Why must I procrastinate EVERYTHING?
2. I love making Snapfish photo albums. Check them out -great fun and a great gift, too.
3. Pilates is my new favorite form of exercise. I really liked it when I used to go to pilates classes at the Y, and now I have my very own machine. It is awesome, and unless my scales are broken, it's working.
4. I think I am on my way to having my allergies under control. Until very recently I have been feeling like I was breathing through a very tiny straw, but things are looking up.
5. If you buy your spoiled dog a cool looking dog bed that you saw in Sky Mall magazine because you thought she would like to lay on a mesh bed so air could circulate under her and cool her, and because you thought she might enjoy that better than laying in the dirt or on the deck, then be prepared that your dog might push the new dog bed out of the way so she can return to the dirt. Try to take deep breaths and remind yourself that she does not mean to snub you, your gift, or the time you took to order the bed, attempt to put it together, fail, have husband put it together, realize it is too small, put it back in the box and take it to the post office to be returned, pay for the shipping to return it, wait patiently for the credit to apply to bank account, order bigger size bed and put it together. She has no idea how much trouble that was, so just smile and be glad you have a dog and a yard, no matter how hard that might be.
6. Dunkin' Donuts coffee has a powerful hold on me. Someone needs to find out what they are putting in that stuff to make it so addictive. (I know - sugar.)
7. Get out of your head and into your life.
...more cohesive posts to follow in August....or so I hope...
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Ding ding ding da da ding ding
(Anyone remember that?)
So... not posting for such a long time makes me feel a little under pressure....the longer I try to decide what to say, the more it seems that what I say should be important. Poignant. Moving. Perfectly encapsulating the last few months. The best post ever. Goodness knows I've had enough emotional fodder to create a multitude of posts. But lately I'm something that I have rarely, if ever, been - speechless -or rather, postless. Usually posts just flow out of the nooks and crannies of my brain without much effort at all, but this one hasn't been so easy. Each time I start to post I'm painfully aware of the tone - too light? too heavy? too angry? too flip? So I stop. Unable to post about anything else but the elephant in the room/blog, but not really sure what to say, either, I stop. So it feels good to start at last.
As usual, I'm going to use the words of someone else (Josephine Humphreys) to help me sum things up. I have probably quoted her before - this quote is from one of my favorite books, Rich in Love:
Waiting, I felt entirely simple, that is, all of a piece, one-parted. A month earlier, I had considered myself complicated, tangled as hopelessly as someone can get in the course of a young life. But now, here I was, period. ... To my surprise I was nothing but myself. I was simple and...unscathed, yes. But I would not forget.
So I'm back to myself, mostly. Feeling less complicated and less hopelessly tangled everyday. I've been forced to inventory my life and I have to admit that I'm pretty lucky. I'm surrounded by love from all directions- love that is so strong that it is tangible. I'm rich in love. It has comforted me, and cheered me, and sustained me- and for that I will always be grateful.
Saturday, May 31, 2008
Saturday, April 26, 2008
The sun beat down, setting the pavement on fire. The hot, moist air coupled
with the large crowd made for difficult breathing. People lined both sides of
the street, sprawled on chairs, quilts, or on the ground. Some sat in the backs
of trucks, on cars, and some stood. Others walked up and down the street calling
to friends as they passed. Some people wore shorts, some were in bathing suits,
and some were in jeans. Toddlers ran around on the grassy lawns in their
diapers, their little tan feet hopping back and forth. Dogs tied to lawn chairs
sat with their tongues out, trying to find shade. The air smelled of hot dogs,
cotton candy, and hot asphalt. Men pushed carts loaded with novelty items like
balloons, snap-n-pops, whistles and stuffed animals. Small cramped trailers were
hosts to long lines of people wanting hot dogs, snow cones, and Cokes.
Clowns roamed in and of the crowds selling balloons and making little
children laugh. Beauty queens on flowery floats rolled by. Little girls twirling
batons almost as big as them strutted by in their leotards. Girl Scouts and Boy
Scouts rode proudly by, throwing candy to the crowd. Bands marched, following their ever-moving directors. Music filled the air. The big horses with heads held high marched proudly, bringing up the end. Slowly people began to collect their belongings and leave. Paper littered the streets, the sidewalks, the yards, everywhere. Another
Fish Fry parade was over.
Monday, April 14, 2008
Running: Had some knee pain that scared me, so I took a week off. Maybe I'm too old to run!
Soccer: Thankfully, someone else stepped up and saved those kids from me and me from them. And to think I almost agreed to that lunacy....what is wrong with me?
Meat and diet: I had chicken twice today. So sue me. But overall, my meat consumption is way way down. I crave veggie burritos from Blue Coast Burrito. MMMM MMMM My soda consumption is almost non-existent. I have slipped a bit on the coffee here and there (once even at Starbucks -oopsy.) I have to say that I can tell a real difference in my energy levels lately. I think I was getting more caffeine that I realized, and it was affecting my energy.
Home improvements: Painter will be here next week. There is now no wallpaper anywhere in my house. It's all gone! And after many agonizing attempts to choose just the right shades, all of the paint colors have been finalized. Who knew there could be so many shades of brown? It's ridiculous, really. Terra Brun (Sherwin Williams) is my current favorite brown. It's an earthy, reddish brown, but very dark. If you visit my bonus room (that is slowly but surely going to become a media room) you can see it for yourself!
Transportation: Last week I rode my bike to work. How's that for some alternate transportation? It was the most awesome thing. When I got this new job and I realized that it was possible for me to ride my bike, or even to walk if I had to, I could not wait to do either one. After driving 50+ miles a day for 8 years or so, the thought of riding my bike to work sounded so ridiculous and wonderful that I could not wait to do it. So, last Tuesday, I put on my little bike helmet, (some girl at work pointed out it was not very fashionable, and I pointed out neither are brain injuries) put my work clothes in a gym bag in my basket, bagged up some dog treats to fend off ravenous canines (like that would work, but it made me feel better), and headed out. It was glorious. The weather was perfect. No one honked or tried to run me off the road. I got to work on time. Life was good. I turned into a chicken, though, when I thought about how much traffic there would be on the way home after work, so I rode it home at lunch and drove my car back. I can't wait to do it again!
Hope you have enjoyed my little update, and hope everything is well with you.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Here's what I have cut out:
Milk (gasps from the audience)
Meat (more gasps, a few snickers)
Sodas (I can't believe this one)
Coffee (Really shocked at this one, too)
Most processed foods
Already this week I have had more oranges than I have had in probably the last 8 months. I've had bananas, pineapple, and strawberries. I've had squash, tomatoes, celery, zucchini, onions, red, yellow, and orange peppers, carrots, water chestnuts, sweet potatoes, spinach, chard (a leafy green vegetable that I cooked like turnip greens, wasn't bad at all), broccoli, black beans, and brown rice. I've had peanuts, pistachios, whole grain cereal, chai tea, and soy milk. And that's just this week.
There are so many wonderful and healthy foods out there. But we don't want them because our taste buds are all screwed up from the processed crap that we eat. We are so used to foods filled with high fructose corn syrup that natural foods just don't taste right. We don't really think about what we eat. We get our nutrition advice from TV- we drink milk because the commercials say it does a body good, -and the dairy manufacturers paid for the ads. We eat lean mean like chicken because it's supposed to be good for us -and the poultry people paid for those ads. We use Splenda and Equal and Sweet-n-Low and other fake sweeteners, even though there is scary, scary research out there about each and every one of them -like it took aspartame something like 8 times to get passed by the FDA. But wait, don't be fooled into thinking those things are so bad that you'll just have good old natural sugar. Good old natural sugar isn't good - or natural. It's been uber-processed, refined, stripped of any good qualities it once had, and then bleached because apparently they think people wouldn't buy sugar if it weren't white.
We don't really think about what we put in our mouths. We eat meat because it's there. Because we have always eaten it. And I know, I have an advantage here. While some of you really and truly love meat - I can tell from the visceral reactions I have got from people when I tell them I am trying to give it up - I really could take it or leave it. I do enjoy a good grilled hot dog. I love BBQ. Occasionally I crave pork chops. I like bacon. (Noticing a pattern here? I'm a real pork lover, eh) I used to say that I loved chicken, but the truth is it's the most tasteless meat out there, and what I love is what's on the chicken -like honey mustard, or BBQ sauce, or cheese, or spinach, etc. So it's been relatively easy for me to give it up. I'm not saying I will never have meat again, believe me. I had some this past weekend. But I'm definitely trying to avoid it for the most part.
Why? Because you do not know what you are eating if you eat meat. If you eat meat you are eating growth hormones and antibiotics. Every time. It's not the old days anymore, and your chicken did not come from Farmer Joe. It did not eat corn in a grassy field before being carried to market in a little red pickup truck. In all likelihood it sat in a cage barely big enough for it to fit in and was fed antibiotics to stave off the infections caused by its nasty living conditions, and hormones to make it bigger so someone could make a buck. Little girls are entering puberty at a much, much younger age now than ever. The culprit? Hormones in the meat they eat.
I'm sure many of you will think I have gone off my rocker. That's OK, that's nothing new. And while I suppose that everything above that I have read might not be true, it sure makes sense to me. Besides, I'm quite the animal lover. As Sandy says, I'm a hormone away from PETA. So when I think about what I am really eating - a COW, not a burger, or a CHICKEN, not a chicken tender, a PIG, not a pork chop, it's even easier for me to say no thanks. Especially when I think about how many animals I eat in the course of one year. Ew.
So, that's that. If you are interested in reading what I read (actually I listened to it on CD) to come to all these conclusions, it's a book called Skinny Bitch. As you might could tell from the title, the author has a little potty mouth -admittedly for grabbing attention, but a potty mouth nonetheless. So if you can look past that part there is some really, really interesting information in there.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
I've been busy! I am "training" to run a 5K race. I am walking one in April and running one in June, hopefully. It's been (gasp!) nearly 20 years (IS THAT RIGHT, CAN IT BE POSSIBLE THAT I AM THAT OLD, HOW CAN THAT BE?????????) since I last ran 3 miles without stopping. We'll see how it goes. I'm not a very good runner. I'm one of those that just....stops. I don't necessarily stop because I get out of breath. I actually am pretty good at controlling my breathing. And I don't stop because my legs are screaming with pain or anything. I just always.....stop. I lose concentration or something, and I say well that's enough, and I'll just stop. Not very good at fighting the fight. Kind of quick to give up when it comes to running. So we'll see how this goes. Feet don't fail me now. (More accurately, knees don't fail me now.)
I'll keep you posted.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Monday, March 10, 2008
Saturday, March 01, 2008
Friday, February 22, 2008
I was in New York last weekend, and you would think that of all the things I saw there that I would have something else to comment on other than something I caught on TV. Wrong. It just caught my eye - OK, actually my ear -as I was getting ready for bed one night, and it ties in nicely with my new favorite song, so here goes.
It was an interview with Matthew McConaughey(that is really tough to spell -try it) and he was talking about how he thought it was important not to have unfinished business. At first I kind of brushed the interview off - I don't remember who the interviewer was, just that at one point I thought he seemed a little too impressed by a shirtless surfer dude who's made some bucks playing in some movies. That doesn't mean the surfer dude knows what he's talking about, right? Just that he's been incredibly lucky, right? But the more I listened, the more I realized that maybe Matthew has a point. He was talking about unfinished business, and how it's no good to have any. How it changes the way you feel when you wake up in the morning, or how it changes the course of your day if you're not having to look over your shoulder the whole time about something that you should have finished. Maybe it's a friendship. Maybe it's a relationship. Maybe it's an ex-employer. Whatever it is, we all know there is a right way and a wrong way to end things, and wouldn't life be much simpler for everyone if we all made clean breaks and carried less baggage because of it? Simple, I know. But it made a lot of sense to me.
And so on to my new favorite song. At least my new favorite Floating Men song. They have a new album, and, honestly, the whole thing is just kinda weird to me. I usually get their music, or at least get what I think they are trying to say, but this one is kinda weird. Anyway, there is this one song, though, that just speaks to me, hokey as it sounds. It's one of those songs that I liked from the instant I heard the opening strums. When I listen to it, I play it over and over. I think it's about unfinished business. About that one relationship you had that you can't come to terms with. You can't compartmentalize. Or rationalize. And for reasons that make absolutely no sense, you hope that, if you should die before this person, that they would at least shed one lousy tear. I get that. Do you?
"I'd trade our tallest days
Or, hell, our widest years
If you'd stoop to grace my grave
With a single final tear
For all we used to be
For all you lost from me
We piled our wildest dreams
At Laughing Buddha’s feet
And defiled our childish schemes
With feats of light and heat
With sweet and clumsy sins
We'll never know again
I'd trade our finest years
If you'd save one final tear for me
They build retirement homes
On our amusement parks
They plow up human bones
In madmen's salvage yards
Whatever else they find
Nobody seems to mind
They pave our vacant lots
With jewels and precious stones
Our manifestos rot
In madmen's catacombs
Whoever else I've loved
Never measured up
I'd trade our finest years
If you'd save one final tear for me
It's not about my age
I'm not a slave to time
This body's not a cage
I'm not afraid to die
But I'd trade a thousand years
If you'd waste one lousy tear
I'd trade our finest years
If you'd save one final tear
for all we used to be"
-The Floating Men
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Monday, February 11, 2008
Sunday, February 10, 2008
In the meantime, I quelled my restless spirit by getting red hair. Overall, the effect is not that dramatic, but a few streaks here and there are a red color that does not occur in nature. It's my rock star hair. If I could find the camera, I would share. Let's hope I find something else to do with my time before my next hair appointment.
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
In everyone's life, there are times when the grass looks greener on the "other side." But the next time you dream about trading your demanding life for one that looks more appealing, think about this: Many people would give their eyeteeth for just a little bit of what you have. If you're single,you enjoy freedom. If you're a wife, you have a lifelong companion. If you're a mother, you witness the wonder of childhood.
Where you are is exactly where God wants you to be. He has placed you here for a purpose. No one else can touch the same lives you touch -your life and calling are unique. Take a look at all the wonderful things about the life you've been given, and you'll realize that through the good times and the struggles, you are blessed!Pretty good stuff, huh?
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
I feel a little bit like that crying, sniffling man -extremely sad for something that happened to someone that I didn't know, and somehow personally affected even thought I'm not. I can’t stop thinking about the O’Charley’s manager who was murdered on Sunday morning, and frankly, I am surprised at the intensity of my feelings. It has been on my mind constantly. As soon as I heard the news, I called my friend who is a manager at the same store to make sure he was OK, and to get the whole story. As he relayed the story, I could see every detail in complete clarity. The parking lot. The back door. The lights from Mrs. Winner’s. The sound the back door buzzer makes. The way the place would have smelled –like a mixture of food, soap, and steam. The radio on the kitchen line. The cooks whistling as they hurried to finish cleaning, doing a slipping, sliding dance across the wet floor. The servers as they checked each station and counted their money. And finally, the manager. In a tiny, dingy, cramped office. He would be counting all the money from the day. Checking each server out and listening to them groan about their worst customers or maybe talk about their plans for after work. Recording the day’s sales, noting anything that would have affected the sales for next year’s reference – the weather, an event in town like a sports tournament, or even a television show. Believe it or not, there are many factors that affect restaurant sales. I remember the night of the Seinfeld finale –the restaurant was basically empty – but of course, that was pre-Tivo era. The manager would be rushing around, in a hurry to get home, but still paying attention to every detail. Is there enough silverware for tomorrow? Are the microwaves clean? The shams? Are all of the lights off? Are the tables and chairs clean? Were the bathrooms cleaned properly? Are there any stray balloons that might later set off the motion detector? (It has happened.)
I know these details because I spent a little over a year in that same restaurant, in that same cramped little office, doing the same thing that Nader Bahmanziari was doing that fateful night. And I can’t get his image out of my head. Even though I didn’t know him, and it has been nearly 8 years since I closed that restaurant down, I feel deeply affected by this tragedy, and my heart goes out to his family and to all the employees who thought that night was like any other, and who will now never be the same.
The restaurant world is a tight community, and if you have ever worked in one, you know what I mean. I have not found that type of camaraderie in any other job. Something about the long hours, or maybe the teamwork that is necessary to run the place –it creates tight bonds. Eight years later, I talk daily to people that I met at that O’Charley’s – one of them being my husband. Although I can't begin to imagine the grief the family is feeling right now, I can somewhat imagine the grief that those employees feel for this tragic loss. That same O'Charley's was rocked by another senseless death in 1998, and I remember the immense effect that it had on each and every employee. Just last year, 50 or so people gathered for lunch in the back room of that O'Charley's in somber grief and disbelief at yet another senseless loss. And today, as the family mourns and the employees struggle to pull themselves together and get back to work, a few miles away, at a 9-5 desk job, in a different zip code, I feel a little bit of their pain.
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
So, how did it go?..... I liked it! I liked the way it sounded, too. I liked the way my tennis shoes (NO BLACK SOLED SHOES ALLOWED!) squeaked on the (wooden? is it really wood?) floor - it reminded me of basketball days gone by. I liked the way the ball made a popping sound as it smacked the wall. And I liked the cartoon-like whirring sounds that were made either by the ball zipping by, or by the air through the racquet.
All in all, considering that neither I nor my partner had ever played, and the only instruction I had was, "First there is a dotted line. You stand behind that while the other person serves. The person serving stands behind the next line, and the ball must hit the front wall and land behind the third line" (at least I think that's what he said), I think we did pretty good. We laughed alot, so I figure that worked our ab muscles, at least.
So, stay tuned. There may be amusing racquetball stories ahead. The most amusing thing today was the imprint the goggle strap made on my hair......(GOGGLES MUST BE WORN AT ALL TIMES!)
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
What a change this January. Today I worked until -gasp- 5:30! At 5:05 my boss came down to my office and yelled at me to go home, to remember that I had a spouse. I laughed. If she only knew, I thought. If she only knew!